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alun_sundry

Lloyds - five years silence and now demands

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I was £800 overdrawn with Lloyds about eight years ago after having been a student. I have mental health troubles, am on benefits, a minimal amount, about £85 a week, which oftens runs out a bit soon involving eating out of tins or fasting. We went into a series of letters back then (2002-ish) which at one point meant I was paying £1 a month, before I was advised by legal people using another similar forum that being on the minimum amount the law says I need to live on I could forego even the pound, a daft and meaningless arrangement anyway, given how long the £800 would take to pay off. The last I knew of this account/ debt was from a phone call I made where the person I spoke to accepted that this was a bad unrecoverable debt case. Nothing in writing, admittedly, but FIVE YEARS' silence. With lots of other far, far more serious stuff to worry about and unmanageable dietary problems that have often made my days feel an unworkable trap I just thought the debt was written off. My half-brother had one written off fifteen years ago and never heard from the bank again.

 

I wrote replies to the first letter that arrived a few months ago, and one from a month ago, but nothing's getting through it seems. It's like a computer's reading the letters. It seems like we're about to go through all the same nonsense we had all those years ago, and to be honest I've had it, it's so petty and cruel. I'm already worn out by my illness and I survived two grisly suicide attempts in my late 20s and don't want to end up that way again. The government with its bail-outs is enabling these businesses do this sort of thing. On the shop floor a bank is fair enough, I've got nothing against staff there and I'm no anarchist and am conscientious in all areas of life. Further into the company's depths though I just regard Lloyds as a criminal organisation now.

 

I'm not going to pay. I've seen a lot of sickening things, survived a lot, and have a history that means I'm bound to not accept any attempts to treat me badly. There was a time when I'd have been happy to pay if my circumstances changed, but now I regard their letters and callousness as harrassment, and that they've foregone any moral claim to the money.

 

I do have a modest few possessions that I'm worried a bailiff will take, but I'm also worried about what I might do if in a corner. I used a phone in a private room last week to talk to someone at Lloyds, in one of their branches, and was so angry that day with the latest letters that I was worried I would smash something in there, e.g. a computer. The bloke I spoke to seemed young and clueless, and though I didn't swear or raise my voice or wig out he'll have known I was angry. I've lost track of who is dealing with this now, it's all blurring into one, even in the last few months the case seems to have gone back and forth twice between different departments. The stress of this means I have to refuse to cooperate for my own health and self-preservation. Lloyds doesn't seem to realise the seriousness of the situation. I have told them all the grisly specifics, underlining that it's not blackmail but a practical necessity for me to tell them.

 

I don't have any wants, except to left alone. I'm 38 but I regard myself as retired, (even the DSS doctors that assess me every few years don't challenge this). More than retired - just living very modestly, trying to work round health difficulties, not being any harm. I don't have anything to lose and certainly I'm not going to let a business impose on this modest existence. I'm not a trouble-maker, never bothered with drugs, always been ethically-minded.

 

The letter from a few months ago said I was 'using' an unplanned overdraft. I haven't touched the account, I have no means to - no card, no PIN. As I say, I thought that the five years silence in addition to the contents of the phone call those years ago meant the debt was written off. I've asked them two things: why the five years silence, and where do they imagine the money will come from. Neither question is answered. It just feels like, the credit crunch is in progress so they've gone through their records in search of money they'd have let go otherwise.

 

Any thoughts? Any way to simplify or end this quickly? As for the possessions, if it came to bailiff threats I'd leave the items with family. The auctioning would only raise about half of the amount, at which point I'm in a room with a bed and some second hand books and they still want half the money, it's just daft.

 

What can happen? What's the worst? No prison risk?

 

Thanks in advance. Any more info needed, let me know.

 

I've been to CAB years back, I'm not going through any more hoops now, or doing any silly repetitive, demeaning tasks, I just want them all to get lost as quickly as possible.

Edited by alun_sundry
typos/ clarity

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right ok lets get a couple of things correct here first.

 

banks don't & can't send in the bailiffs, its a civil matter so dont worry about all of that.

 

my thoughts here lie with totally forgetting this o/d issue, its very probably statute barred or atleast very close to it being so.

 

if you want you could fire off the statue barred letter but i'd forget them.

its up to THEM to prove its not statute barred not you to prove it is.

 

dx


please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

 

if everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's tomorrow

the biggest financial industry in the UK, DCA;s would collapse overnight.

 

 

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Great, this is sounding good, partly because of no worry about bailiff.

 

At least I can use the term 'statute barred' now in letters too, hopefully they'll start to get deterred. Though I didn't hear from them for five years, the debt is seven or eight years old in total.

 

Anyway, thanks, very encouraging, any further words from anyone are welcome.

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Hi alun,

You will hopefully get loads of advice and support on here, especially as the day goes by and more people read of your problems.

 

I can't really help with advice about what you should do or how to handle these people as I am quite new to tackling these kinds of issues myself. The one thing I do know though is that there is rarely if ever any personal side to these organisations and template letters are their best friends!

 

What I can do if it is of any help is to offer you a bit of moral support. I know just how your health can be further affected by the tangled mess, and just how your head goes into overload. I have days when getting out of bed seems an impossible task and only people with mental health issues know what it is like to live with them. Thankfully I have several understanding and supportive friends and work colleagues, but it still only takes that one none-understanding person to knock you back to square one again.

 

I do know that if you are ill in anyway then the likes of debt collectors and bailiffs are supposed to back off - I am wondering if there is anything along those lines that would apply to other organisations who are hassling you. If anyone else knows the answer, then maybe there is a letter you can send telling them that you are ill (without going into the details) and you would appreciate them backing off.

 

Just a few thoughts there. I hope it makes you feel even just a tiny bit better knowing that there are so many others in your situation, so you are not alone and we know how you feel :).

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Thanks Mrs E Blackadder (nice - I was Dolly Hitler on another forum). Yes, no trouble getting out of bed in sunny weather right now but I will be back to that battle in a month or two.

 

Principles are involved too - it took so long to get mental health issues treated in a civil way in the world that we can't concede about it now.

 

I will look in a few times today and tomorrow to see what else is said.

 

Ta.

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Dolly Hitler? Like it! (Wonder what Adolf's mum was called?)

 

I chose Mrs Blackadder because my ex appeared to have the same personality as Edmund Blackadder and was about as sarcastic. Thank heavens he didn't look like him as well though :D.

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The current state of this is that I ended up going into the bank and ringing from one of their rooms to the supposed relevant department. Everything that was said seems to have disapeared into smoke. Debt collector's are now dealing with it, who;ve mentioned a visit. They ask me to ring. The amount has gone from £800-odd to £1300.

 

I'm not too worried, because it's absolutely mad. If this is allowed and protected by law then we're in an entirely psychotic world. I am going to write an impatient letter in biro with angry underlinings of the main points and send it to the debt collectors. Lloyds don't seem to grasp the nature of communication.

 

I have just gone back on an antidepressent very necessarily and hope I don't do anything rash once it alters the nature of my will, so to speak, i.e. either anger-wise or making offers.

 

Why do the debt collectors visit if they can't take goods to the value etc? Will telling them that the entryphone system will make it a wasted journey be enough?

 

Any ideas? Should I ring the collectors? Thanks.

Edited by alun_sundry

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No, DO NOT ring them under any circumstances. If you are feeling even the tiniest bit depressed and vulnerable then they will make you feel worse with their rottweiler like tactics. They will demand information from you and will probably then continue to hound you by phone. Please, take it from one who knows, and only contact them in writing. If they do phone then simply say that you will only deal with the matter in writing and just put the phone down. There is a template letter on here regarding harrassment that you can send them if they won't listen.

 

Debt collectors have no right to visit without an appointment and have no more right to demand money off you than I would if I knocked on your door. They like you think that they have powers that they just do not have, so don't be fooled or bullied by them. It is quite unlikely that anyone will actually turn up, it is often another of their ploys to try to put the frighteners on you, and just as with any harrassing phone calls you are quite entitled to write to them saying that you will only deal with things in writing and personal callers will be turned away/not acknowledged. If someone should deign to call, then either don't answer the door, or simply tell them that you will only deal with things in writing and if need be hand them a letter saying just that - you could even ask the collector to sign a receipt for it so that he can't later say you didn't give him anything. However, if I were you I would get in first and put everything in writing before they have a chance to phone or visit. You don't need to go into any details, keep it simple and to the point. If you have an entryphone system then let them find it out for themselves if they are stupid enough to come round. Work it to your advantage and don't forewarn them of anything:)

 

I'm sure someone else on here will be able to advise you on the fact that there seem to be added charges to the account which is why it is now so high, and you can request a breakdown of what these charges are. I think is it a SAR request and costs £10. Again, there is a template letter on here that you can use.

 

On a moral support front, the medication shouldn't alter your personality. I know because I have been on the stuff for ever and a day! You certainly shouldn't look on it as being anything shameful because it is necessary at the moment and it is crutch to keep you going. It is very easy to feel alone when you are under so much pressure and I have days when I truly believe that no-one else in the world is going through what I am going through and no-one else gives a damn. Of course, there are thousands of others who know what it is like to have to deal with debt and people do give a damn. I know that here on CAG no-one can physically put an arm around you, but the support and wealth of knowledge can be an amazing boost in your time of need.

 

Hope this has been of some help. If you have any further questions then I'm sure the more experienced caggers will be able to help.

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Just a further thought. Is the debt collectors the banks in-house one? Sometimes they are a little easier to deal with than outside agencies and are more likely to stick to your requests for written contact only. I had to deal with HSBCs in-house collectors and once I put in writing that I would consider any phone calls or personal visits to be harrassment they were fine and complied with my wishes.

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Cheers for that, I'll follow your advice about not calling them - gets my ear-hole that I'm expected ot fund a call in the first place really.

 

At present I can't find their letter so I will have to wait till they write again if it doesn't show up. The charges are the ones for as they regard it 'unauthorised overdraft', laughably enough, so I don't need for them to account for it, it's just part of their crazy logic.:cool:

 

I will send them a medley of two of the standard letters here, one about statute barred debts and the one prohibiting a visit. I'd feel a lot better if Lloyds had left it the full six years and not five though, although five may even have been a conservative estimate, maybe it _was_ six.

 

I notice those emoticons are blue, maybe because most of us are blue in the face from talking to these Lloyds twonks.

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Yes, it's Lloyds' internal rottweilers 'BLS' - what a load of old flannel. I don't know whether that'll get passed on to a non-pretend one with louder bark but I'm sort of well-rehearsed because of earlier hassle with the Student Loans company - their cock up led to no fewer than five debt collectors contacting me and then giving up.

 

Now the letter's turned up I'll get a reply off, at my leisure in the next few days - if they can't make a civil attempt to communicate I'm not going to rush.

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Hi, Alun.

 

Just stumbled across your thread here, and shocked (but not surprised) by Lloyds behaviour and attitude.

 

It is very good advice to not actually call or engage with them over the phone, keep everything in writing, and keep copies.

 

Also send everything by recorded delivery.

 

Perhaps send them a letter along the lines of this too.

 

See here:

 

http://www.consumerforums.com/resources/templates-library/86-debt-collectors/590-letter-used-when-a-dca-threatens-a-doorstep-visit-

 

 

With regards bailiffs, they cannot just simply send people around, there is a whole process they need to go through, which requires their first issuing a court claim, getting a judgement, and then finally a warrant.

 

This process is lengthy for them, and it can also be challenged by you along the way.

 

 

Even then, they especially cannot just send anyone around if they know you are vulnerable or ill.

 

See this link regards OFT guidelines for Debt Collectors.

 

http://www.consumerforums.com/resources/templates-library/86-debt-collectors/527-oft-debt-collection-guidance

 

Note especially 2.12 b. and c

 

From the OFT guidelines:

 

Debt collection visits

 

2.11 Those visiting debtors must not act in an unclear or threatening manner.

2.12 Examples of unfair practices are:

a. not making the purpose of any proposed visit clear, for example, merely stating that collectors or field agents will call is not sufficient

b. visiting a debtor when it is known they are vulnerable, for example, when a doctor's certificate has been provided stating that the debtor is ill

c. continuing with a visit when it becomes apparent that the debtor is distressed or otherwise vulnerable, for example, it becomes apparent that the debtor has mental health problems

d. entering a property uninvited

e. not leaving a property when asked to

f. visiting or threatening to visit debtors without prior agreement when the debt is deadlocked or disputed1

g. not giving adequate notice of the time and date of a visit 2

h visiting debtors, unless requested, at inappropriate locations such as work or hospital.

 

 

So, perhaps you should ask your doctor for a note that confirms your are ill and vulnerable, and then send a copy (keep original) to them (by recorded delivery).

 

Then they are on formal written notice of your health situation.

 

 

If they do still visit, then they are breaking several guidelines and also the law.

 

If someone were still to attempt to visit:

 

Tell them to leave as you have nothing to discuss and all communication must be in writing.

 

Tell them you will call the police if they don't leave immediately.

 

Remain calm and polite at all times.

 

Walk away from the door so the visitor cannot try and talk to you.

 

If they don't leave, call the police to report that you are being harassed and the visitor refuses to leave.

 

 

ALSO:

 

When you ran up the original debts as a student, was any of it as a result of any penalty charges on your account for returned items, bounced cheques etc ?

 

If so, you could actually find that some or all of the supposed debt they are claiming you owe could be written off or even actually reclaimed.

 

Do you have your old statements, have you looked through them to see if there are any charges?

 

Do not think or be put off by any thoughts regards the age of the charges, even if they were incurred over 8 years ago, they are still reclaimable.

 

Turn the tables, and start the process of claiming this money back as soon as you can, and then you can declare the debt they are claiming from you as being in dispute.

 

Start the process, and then you can send the following letter:

 

See here:

 

http://www.consumerforums.com/resources/templates-library/86-debt-collectors/580-letter-when-bankdca-attempt-to-collect-on-penalty-charge-situation

 

 

Also, in your original post, you mention that you only receive around £85 per week ?

 

This seems pretty meagre.

 

Have you inquired about eligibility for Disability Living Allowance (DLA) ?

 

Depending on your particular illness and circumstances (eg: if you live alone, are living with relatives etc) you could be eligible for additional financial help in the form of DLA.

 

Also in some cases they can even back-date payments, and this could be a very considerable sum.

 

Speak to your local benefits office about this, and get your application underway.

 

 

 

Best regards

 

 

PM


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Hi Alun,

 

I'm very sorry to hear of your problems with Lloyds T(he) S(h**) B(ank).

 

What makes my blood boil about Lloyds is how they pick on the vulnerable. Most people I hear about who have these problems with huge charges or threats with lloyds are single parents, students, ill, on benefits, made redundant or on low incomes. They are appalling. If somebody offered me a job working for that organisation tomorrow on 50k, i'd turn it down, because I wouldn't be able to live with my own conscience. How anybody works for them, and actually executes these kind of policies and this behaviour is beyond me.

 

I have posted a thread about them too and their ludicrous charges that are nothing short of wickedness. £190 for 4 days overdrawn! I tried to claim back under hardship but they, as you say, sent letters that were almost written by a computer. I think most of lloyds staff are computers. I mean cyborgs have no emotions, right?

 

Myself and other friends have been subject to their bully boy tactics.My friend was getting threatening letters over her o/d. their answer? give her a credit card from them or threaten to remove her o/d facility and swallow her wages. this tactic was used on me too- 3 days before my student loan was due to be paid in- they told me if i did not agree to £50 a month repayments, they would take my loan. I'm not as stupid as that now, but at the time i was 21 and was terrified of the bullying used by their call centres.

 

my friend Em is a mother of 2 who was taken into hospital- in the week she was in she went o/d- she ended up with nearly £800 charges. All they told her was that she was "unable to manage her account". For manage, read " pull money out of the ether".

 

l know what you're going through with their tactics and ludicrous charges, i was suddenly put in debt collections when i returned to university. Nobody in branch would touch me with a barge pole, and like you i was told to call a call centre in a side room. Thats all theyd do for me. If you read my thread i posted here, at the 11th hour i've been hit with charges i now cannot afford. Again- unauthorised o/d. The final insult was that i caught sight of my profile once on their computer- it listed me as a "low risk" borrower. I've been treated like a crim for years by them.

 

I could write a book about lloyds disgusting tactics, but i agree with the previous poster- don't tell them about your heath problems- who the hell are they to have any right to ask? The thing with lloyds is, any protests are simply used as more rope to hang you with. they love to find a vulnerability or a weakness. My uncle was made redundant and like a fool, told them so, expecting leniency, but simply got jumped on and was forced to admit that he was therefore declaring himself insolvent and used this information to pass his account onto a debt collection agency. same with me- all i did was go in to apply for a student account- next thing i was told i'd be put into collections as they took that as "declaring i was no longer employed full time"

 

These people are simply call centre monkeys, they have no right to personal information about you and no right to threaten you. Please don't worry about bailiffs, lloyds have a lot of fancy names, including so called " solicitors" who are basically people in call centres pretending to act as solicitors. it's all bully boy tactics. I'm sure i read somewhere too that money should not be taken from benefits to pay debtors with.

 

I'd advise you to go to CCCS, but- i did and lloyds simply ignored the £5 arrangement and continued to take what they wanted from my account.

 

They are nothing but ****, and please remember that in your dealings with them. good on you for standing up to them and letting them know they can't push you around. I wish you all the very best and lloyds nothing but the very worst! x

Edited by Johnny1978

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Thanks for further remarks there - the bolstering is certainly appreciated as much as the advice.

 

It certainly would be nice ot actually claim that sort of money from Lloyds but the overdraft was generated through living expenses, in part of course because of the meagre amount I live on. Just unfortunate for me that I had access to that overdraft and hadn't forseen not being able to manage it. Even so, having learnt more of my rights and of the tiny amount of ethical sense that tallies up with law, Lloyds won't be getting anything from me.

 

I have thought about applying for DLA sometimes but am wary of drawing attentionot myself when they're now clamping down on people who are ill in not immediately obvious ways like mental health. Just about to walk into town to get some overdue footwear for the winter having been given £20 by a friend for that purpose after seeing the rain soak through the bottoms my threadbare shoes yesterday, probably some indirect indication of the cowed and over-humble attitude I'm trying to get beyond. Good to have something tangible like the Lloyds gibbons to give such an endeavour shape in a way.

 

Good luck to all reading in the same boat; apologies that I don't have the experience/knowledge to say anything specific.

 

There ought to be protection for you against having your student loan taken like that though - that is the kind of thing I mean when I refer to ethical sense and law not tallying up. Devious of them and a thoroughly repulsive way to live and make a living.

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This morning after letting Lloyds' internal colectors know of my health issues again, and pointing out about the Statute Barred matter, I've got a yellow Formal Demand from a Glasgow address. They're continuing to ignore what I say and not answer queries. Should I see this as their hope that I'm going to take out a loan and pay something? Should I ignore it? I've made it clear that I have the minimum amount the law says I need to live on (less in my opinion, and less than I may for health reasons be entitled to).

 

I am curious as to what they would say if I asked verbally where the money is supposed to come from and am tempted to ring the 0141 number unless advised against it here.

 

I spent Saturday night at my parents' and returned to find my door ajar. Most likely me not having my eye on the ball, being 'elsewhere' with my various worries, but I've even had the probably paranoid thought that it was opened by collectors and left that way as a warning. That's the only time I've ever done anything as crazy as leave the door open, but we've just had these new cr*p fire doors fitted and closing doors is such an 'auto-pilot' thing to do that the bang the new ones make might have made me think I'd done the job adequately. Eeh...

 

The previous letter from them mentioned pursuing the amount in court. Are you sure I'm safe in terms of not having my already fairly minimal and basic possessions confiscated and that being on benefits, £90 a week roughly, I can't have that plundered? I'm anxious enough that I've started to imagine myself in a corner and defending myself with cutlery and a hammer.

 

Thanks to anyone still happy to indulge me here.

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